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IBM Cognos 8 Planning

Book Description

Engineer a clear-cut strategy for achieving best-in-class results

  • Build and deploy effective planning models using Cognos 8 Planning

  • Filled with ideas and techniques for designing planning models

  • Ample screenshots and clear explanations to facilitate learning

  • Written for first-time developers focusing on what is important to the beginner

  • A step-by-step approach that will help you strengthen your understanding of all the major concepts

In Detail

Business planning is no longer just about defining goals, identifying critical issues, and then mapping out strategies. In today's dynamic and highly competitive business environment, companies with complex business models want their abstract strategies turned into discrete, executable plans. They want information from the field to reach decision makers in real-time so that they can fine-tune their plans as events unfold. IBM Cognos 8 Planning offers just that.

This book provides you with everything you need to know for building planning models using IBM Cognos 8 Planning. After reading this book, you can begin your journey into model building bringing with you a perspective that comes from three of the most seasoned IBM Cognos Planning consultants in the business.

In this book, you will learn how to build planning models using IBM Cognos Planning's modeling tool, Analyst. We introduce you to key objects in Analyst that let you define, store, and move data. Then we show how you can deploy the model to hundreds or thousands of users using IBM Cognos Planning's web-based tool, Contributor. We demonstrate some of the things you can do as an administrator and as a user. Finally, we show the automation tools that you can use to maintain and support your models. As we go through this, we will share with you tips and tricks and insights from our experience with real implementations.

Table of Contents

  1. IBM Cognos 8 Planning
    1. IBM Cognos 8 Planning
    2. Credits
    3. About the Authors
    4. Acknowledgment
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the example code for the book
        2. Errata
        3. Piracy
        4. Questions
    7. 1. Planning with IBM Cognos
      1. Planning in a dynamic business environment
        1. Common problems with the planning process
          1. Disconnect between operating reality and financial plan
          2. Confrontational versus collaborative
          3. Cycle times
          4. Ownership and accountability
        2. Spreadsheet-based planning
        3. Lack of control
        4. Spreadsheet error
        5. Lack of transparency
        6. Consolidation and version control
      2. How technology enables planning best practices
      3. Introducing IBM Cognos Planning
        1. Corporate Performance Management
        2. Benefits of IBM Cognos Planning
      4. Summary
    8. 2. Getting to know IBM Cognos Tools
      1. Scenario
        1. IBM Cognos Planning — Analyst
          1. Panda Garden Scenario
      2. IBM Cognos Planning Contributor
        1. Contributor administration
              1. Panda Garden scenario
        2. Contributor client
              1. Panda Garden scenario
      3. IBM Cognos Excel add-in for Analyst and Contributor
      4. IBM Cognos Metric Designer and Metric Studio
        1. Metric Designer
        2. Metric Studio
              1. Panda Garden scenario
      5. IBM Cognos Reporting Studios
              1. Panda Garden scenario
      6. IBM Cognos Framework Manager
              1. Panda Garden scenario
      7. IBM Cognos Event Studio
              1. Panda Garden Scenario
      8. IBM Cognos Connection web portal
      9. Summary
    9. 3. Understanding the Model Development Process
      1. The process
      2. Considerations for building an Analyst planning model
        1. Planning functional models
        2. Planning cycles and horizons
        3. Planning approaches
      3. Designing the model template in Analyst
        1. Flowcharting the model structure
        2. The concept of multi dimensionality
        3. Understanding dimensions, datastore, and data flow
          1. Determining dimensions: D-List
          2. Building the datastore: D-Cubes
          3. Controlling data flow: D-Links
        4. What makes an optimal model?
          1. Principles of model building
            1. Efficiency
            2. Performance
            3. Maintenance
      4. Building the Contributor application
      5. Entering and reviewing plans in the Contributor Web user interface
      6. Publishing and reporting planning data
      7. Maintaining the planning models
      8. Example: ABC Company
      9. Summary
    10. 4. Understanding the Analyst Environment
      1. Getting familiar with Analyst
        1. Using Analyst shortcuts
        2. Accessing Analyst objects
        3. Navigating within Analyst
      2. The building blocks of an Analyst model
        1. Analyst objects
          1. D-List
          2. D-Cube
          3. D-Link
          4. Allocation Table (A-Table)
          5. File Map
          6. Saved Format
          7. Saved Selection
          8. Macro
      3. Organizing objects by using libraries
        1. Creating a library
        2. Deleting a library
        3. Considerations for creating libraries
        4. Types of libraries
          1. Common library
          2. Model library
          3. Staging library
          4. Archive library
      4. Basic administration tools
        1. Maintain Libraries and Users
        2. Rebuild the index file
        3. Refresh references
        4. Validate D-Lists
        5. Locate ODBC sources
        6. Locate Built-in Functions
      5. Configuring Analyst
        1. Changing the path to the Filesys.ini
        2. Changing the maximum workspace
        3. Changing keyboard layout
        4. Changing the number of undos and redos
      6. Summary
    11. 5. Defining Data Structures: D-List
      1. Overview of D-List
        1. Creating the D-List
          1. Manually typing the D-List Items
          2. Importing D-List items from an ASCII file
          3. Importing the D-List items from a File Map
          4. Importing the D-List items from an ODBC source
          5. Importing the D-List items from data in a D-Cube
          6. Importing the D-List Items from another D-List
            1. Setting the import parameters
          7. Modifying the import parameters
          8. Updating the D-List
          9. Updating D-List item names from a data source
          10. Adding new items to a D-List
          11. Deleting D-List items
          12. Reordering D-List Items
          13. Implementing D-List changes
          14. Non-permissible characters in a D-List
          15. Item ID (IID) in a D-List
        2. Entering formulas in a D-List
          1. How formulas are written
          2. Using the Paste function when writing formulas
          3. Writing conditional statements
          4. Conflicts in calculation
          5. Using the D-List priority option
          6. Built-in functions
          7. Inserting a BiF into a D-List Item
        3. Configuring a Timescale D-List
        4. Formatting D-List items
          1. Numeric format
          2. Date format
            1. Dates in formulas
          3. Text format
          4. D-List format
            1. Using D-List formatted items in calculations
          5. Calc option
          6. Categorizing D-Lists
          7. The e.List
      2. Summary
    12. 6. Storing Planning Data: D-Cube
      1. Overview of the D-Cube
      2. Creating a D-Cube
        1. Order of dimensions
        2. Size considerations
      3. Working with the D-Cube
        1. Opening a full view of the D-Cube
        2. Opening a selection of the D-Cube
        3. Viewing different slices of the D-Cube
        4. Saving a selection
        5. Opening the saved selection
        6. Modifying the saved selection
        7. Restructuring dimensions of a D-Cube
          1. Adding a dimension
          2. Deleting a dimension
          3. Substituting a dimension
          4. Reordering D-Cube dimensions
        8. Formatting data using the D-Cube Format
          1. Numeric
          2. Date format
          3. Text format
          4. D-List format
          5. Format priority
        9. Exporting data from the D-Cube
          1. Export
            1. Groups
              1. Single vs. multiple columns
            2. Format
          2. Header/Footer
          3. Zeros
          4. Show Det/Tot
        10. Breakback
          1. Breakback on hierarchies
        11. Configuring D-Cube options
          1. Widths
          2. Lines
          3. Zeros
          4. Breakback
          5. Stored Copy
          6. Show Det/Tot
          7. AutoSum
      4. Entering data into D-Cubes
        1. Data color conventions
        2. Data entry commands
        3. Entering data using the keyboard characters
        4. Applying mathematical operations
        5. Locking, protecting, and holding cells
      5. Summary
    13. 7. Moving Planning Data: D-Links
      1. Overview of a D-Link
        1. Creating a D-Link
          1. Creating a D-Link between two D-Cubes
          2. The D-Link dialog box
      2. Connecting to external data sources
        1. File Map
          1. Creating a D-Link using File Map as a source
        2. ODBC connection
          1. Creating an ODBC data source name
          2. Creating a D-Link using an ODBC connection as the source
        3. Executing the D-Link
          1. Executing a D-Link
          2. Running several D-Links into a single target D-Cube
          3. Executing a batch of D-Links
        4. Allocating dimension items
          1. Allocating dimension items using Matched Description
          2. Using Cut Sub-Columns
          3. Allocating dimension items using a local allocation
          4. Matching descriptions within a local allocation table
          5. Selecting items from unpaired dimensions
          6. Many to one and one to many allocations
          7. Modes
          8. Dump option
        5. Special D-Links
          1. Limitations of special D-Links
          2. Look Up D-Links
          3. Creating a Look Up D-Link
          4. Accumulation D-Links
          5. Creating an Accumulation D-Link
        6. Allocation tables (A-Table)
          1. Creating the A-Table
          2. Allocation items
          3. Creating the source or target items from a D-List
          4. Creating the source or target items from a delimited ASCII file
          5. Creating the source or target items from a mapped ASCII file
          6. Creating the source or target items from an ODBC data source
          7. Using a D-Cube as an allocation table
        7. Analyst <> Contributor links
        8. Importing from IBM Cognos Package
        9. Analyst <> Cognos Finance D-Links
      3. Summary
    14. 8. Understanding the Contributor Environment
      1. Understanding IBM Cognos Planning components
              1. IBM Cognos Connection
              2. IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor Web Client
              3. IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor Administration Console
              4. IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor for Microsoft Excel
              5. IBM Cognos Planning - Analyst
              6. IBM Cognos Planning - Manager
              7. IBM Cognos Planning - Analyst for Microsoft Excel
      2. Understanding the IBM Cognos Planning technical architecture
        1. Tier 1: Web Server or Planning Gateway
        2. Tier 2: Application
              1. Content Manager
              2. Planning Dispatchers or Servers
        3. Tier 3: Data
              1. Content Store
              2. Planning Store
              3. Application Store
      3. Using the Contributor Administration Console program
        1. IBM Cognos Planning System settings
          1. Planning Store
          2. System settings
          3. Access Rights
          4. DataStores
          5. Jobs, Job Servers, and Job Server Clusters
          6. Upgrade the Planning Administration Domain (PAD)
        2. Developing applications
          1. Logon As… and Log Off
          2. Email
          3. Save
          4. Go To Production (GTP)
          5. Set online and offline
          6. Reset Development to Production
          7. Refresh console
          8. Application and Publish DataStores/Containers
          9. Application folders
          10. Macros
          11. Administration links
        3. Deploying, monitoring, and troubleshooting applications
          1. Deployment
          2. Monitor console
          3. Local log files
          4. Help
      4. Summary
    15. 9. Building, Configuring, and Updating the Contributor Application
      1. Creating the Contributor application
        1. Determining the Contributor application prerequisites
          1. Analyst model
          2. Technical environment
          3. e.List
        2. Creating the Contributor application—the process
        3. Understanding the post application creation steps
          1. The application's development and production areas
      2. Configuring the Contributor application for the user web interface
        1. Configuring commonly used options
          1. Navigation
          2. Orientation
          3. Breakback (Grid options)
          4. Multi-view
          5. Slice and dice
          6. Multiple owner
          7. Planner Only cubes
        2. Understanding uncommonly used options
      3. Deploying a Contributor application to the Web: The GTP and Reconciliation process
        1. Understanding GTP
        2. Executing the GTP—the process
      4. Understanding the Reconciliation job
      5. Making Analyst model changes (synchronize)
        1. Understanding synchronization
        2. Synchronizing the Contributor application—steps
      6. Determining the synchronization impact
      7. Enabling Contributor extensions
        1. Configuring admin extensions
        2. Configuring client extensions
          1. Print to Excel
          2. Export to Excel
          3. Get data
      8. Summary
    16. 10. Securing and Controlling Contributor Web Client Template/Application
      1. Securing application access
        1. Understanding e.List dimensions
          1. Determining the e.List ownership
          2. Creating and maintaining an e.List
            1. Preparing an e.List file
            2. Importing an e.List file
              1. Impact on reconciliation job
            3. Changing e.List manually
        2. Securing an application with Rights
          1. Assigning the Rights to e.List items
            1. Preparing the Rights file
              1. Users, groups, and roles
            2. Importing the Rights file
            3. Changing Rights manually
      2. Securing the application data
        1. Understanding access tables
          1. Differentiating access levels
            1. Read
            2. Write
            3. Hidden
            4. No Data
          2. Defining Access Table
            1. Creating Access Table manually
              1. Access Table interface
              2. Creating a rule based Access Table
            2. Importing Access Table
          3. Applying Access Table cautiously
        2. Understanding saved selections
          1. Creating saved selections for Access Table
      3. Validating users' data input
        1. Understanding the Data Validations feature
          1. Terminology
        2. Configuring the Data Validations feature
          1. Deciding to validate or not to validate
          2. Defining the validation rules
          3. Defining the Rule Sets
          4. Assigning the Rule Set to e.List items
          5. Applying the validation rule on the Contributor Web Client
      4. Improving the application performance: The cut-down feature
        1. Understanding cut-down feature
        2. Selecting cut-down options
          1. Cut-down configuration options
          2. Cutting-down an application
        3. Applying the cut-down feature carefully
      5. Summary
    17. 11. Importing Data into a Contributor Application
      1. Updating assumption cubes in Analyst
      2. Importing data from external files/databases
        1. Understanding the import process—concepts
        2. Importing data
          1. Bypassing importing data steps
      3. Administration Links
        1. Creating Administration Links
        2. Running Administration Links
      4. Importing data using IBM Cognos packages
      5. Analyst to Contributor D-Links
        1. Creating and running Analyst to Contributor D-Links
      6. System Links
        1. Creating System Links
        2. Running System Links
      7. Local Links
      8. Summary
    18. 12. Working with the Contributor Web Client
      1. Managing the Contributor workflow
        1. The roles of the planner and reviewer
          1. The planner
          2. The reviewer
        2. Examine a typical workflow for an organization
      2. Working with the Contributor Web Client
        1. Exploring the Contributor Web Client
          1. The tree and e.List
          2. The Table
        2. Workflow states
        3. Opening the application grid for inputting data
        4. The menu bar and its buttons
        5. Entering data
          1. Editing and saving data
          2. Editing data using shortcuts
            1. Copy commands
            2. Data entry commands
          3. Validating data
          4. Swapping rows and columns
          5. Breakback
          6. Annotations
          7. Adding documents
          8. Submitting data
        6. Importing and exporting data from Web Client
          1. Exporting Contributor data
          2. Importing data to Contributor
            1. Local links
            2. System links
        7. Working offline
      3. Using Contributor with Excel
      4. The new Contributor Web Client
        1. The new interface
        2. New features
          1. Customization of the Contributor web view
            1. Nesting dimensions
          2. Freeze Panes
            1. Viewing multiple tabs in one view
            2. Collapsing or expanding dimension hierarchies
            3. Hiding dimension items
            4. Sorting dimension items
            5. Resetting tabs and grids to their original state
      5. Summary
    19. 13. Reporting Planning Data—Publish and BI Integration
      1. Accessing planning data
      2. Publish
      3. Storing published data
        1. Who can publish?
        2. Publishing using the Table-only layout
        3. Publishing data changes (incremental publish)
        4. Publishing using the View Layout
        5. Automating publishing jobs
        6. Understanding the impact of changes
          1. e.List changes
          2. Model changes
          3. Dimension for publish changes
      4. Reporting Planning data using BI Tools
        1. Real-time reporting options
          1. Publish the application as a package to IBM Cognos Connection
          2. Using IBM Cognos Planning Contributor as a data source in Framework Manager
        2. Reporting from published data
          1. Creating a Framework Manager model using the Framework Manager extension
            1. Publishing considerations
            2. Framework Manager considerations
            3. Creating the model
            4. Exploring the Framework Manager model
      5. Summary
    20. 14. Maintaining Analyst Models
      1. Automating common tasks using Analyst macros and batch jobs
        1. Types of Analyst macros
        2. Creating and running Analyst macros
          1. Creating a macro using the wizard
          2. Recording a macro
          3. Executing a macro
        3. Automating typical tasks
          1. Updating a D-Cube structure using macros
          2. Updating D-Cube data using macros
          3. Importing and exporting data using macros
          4. Running a series of macros
        4. Scheduling Analyst macros
          1. Creating a batch job using the Analyst batch utility wizard
          2. Scheduling a batch job
      2. Administering libraries and users
        1. Managing access to Analyst libraries
      3. Managing Analyst objects
        1. Other maintenance tasks
          1. Highlighting unused objects
          2. Previewing D-List
          3. Reveal File Name
          4. Defining Access
          5. Using the Copy Wizard to Copy Libraries
        2. Creating menus and flowcharts using Manager
      4. Summary
    21. 15. Maintaining Contributor Applications
      1. Automating tasks using Contributor macros
        1. Types of Contributor macros
        2. Macro security
        3. Creating, editing, and running Contributor macros
          1. Creating, executing, and editing macros
          2. Executing a macro
          3. Editing a macro
          4. Deleting a macro
          5. Transferring macros and macro steps
        4. Automating typical tasks
          1. Updating a Contributor application
          2. Publishing data from a Contributor application
        5. Running and scheduling Contributor macros
          1. Scheduling Contributor macros in IBM Cognos Connection
          2. Scheduling Contributor macros using batch files
      2. Controlling rights to administrative functions
        1. Typical operations that can be assigned rights
        2. Assigning Access Rights
          1. Adding groups and roles
          2. Assigning Access Rights to the group or role
          3. Cascading rights
      3. Monitoring jobs and managing Job Servers
        1. Typical jobs
        2. Monitoring jobs
          1. The Job Management screen
          2. The Monitoring Console
        3. Managing Job Clusters
          1. Adding a Job Cluster
          2. Adding a Job Server
          3. Adding objects to a Job Cluster
          4. Adding objects to a Job Server
          5. Removing Job Servers
          6. Removing Job Clusters
          7. Removing objects from a Job Cluster or Job Server
      4. Summary
    22. 16. Maintaining Security
      1. Overview of security in IBM Cognos Planning
        1. Authentication and authorization
          1. Authentication
          2. Authorization
        2. Users, groups, and roles
          1. Users
          2. Groups
          3. Roles
        3. IBM Cognos 8 namepace
          1. To view the contents of the IBM Cognos namespace
          2. IBM Cognos 8 namespace planning roles
            1. Planning Rights Administrator
            2. Planning Contributor Users
          3. Capabilities
      2. Managing security profiles
        1. Analyst security
          1. Assigning security at the library level
          2. Assigning security at object level
          3. Assigning security at item level
        2. Contributor security
          1. Access Rights
          2. Macro security
          3. Controlling access to the Contributor application
      3. Summary